Summary: The reason some have little desire for God’s House on Sunday is because they have had little desire for God throughout the week.
Doorkeepers or Tent-dwellers?
05/28/2000 (Psalm 84:1-12) RPBC a.m.
ILL: This is an alleged New Year’s letter written from a church member to the pastor.
You often stress attendance at worship as being very important for a Christian, but I think a person has a right to miss now and then. I think every person ought to be excused for the following reasons and the number of times indicated.
Christmas Holidays (the Sunday before & after) 2
New Years (the party lasted too long) 1
Easter (get away for the holidays) 2
July 4th (national holidays) 1
Labor Day (need to get away) 2
Memorial Day (visit hometown folk) 1
School closing (kids need a break) 1
School reopens (one last fling) 1
Family reunions (mine & wife’s) 3
Sleep late (stayed up too long Saturday night) 9
Deaths in family 2
Anniversary (second honeymoon) 1
Sickness (one per family member) 5
Business trip (a must) 1
Vacation (three to four weeks) 6
Bad weather (ice, snow, rain, clouds) 2
Ball games 2
Unexpected company (can’t walk out) 2
Time changes (spring & fall) 2
Special on TV (superbowl, etc) 3
Pastor, that leaves two Sundays per year. So, you can count on us to be in church on the 4th Sunday in February and the 3rd Sunday in August unless we are providentially hindered.
A Faithful Member
This letter illustrates a point. Some people will make any and every excuse why they cannot come to church. These reasons, and dozens of others, are being employed on a regular basis in every church. Some people do not like to go to church. They say it is boring. The songs are unfamiliar. The preacher’s sermons are dull or uninspiring. The prayers are meaningless and irrelevant. The people aren’t friendly.
On the other hand, there are those who do enjoy coming to church. To them, church is exciting. The songs are uplifting. The sermons are inspiring. The prayers bring them closer to God. The people are friendly and inviting.
What is the difference? The difference is their motivation for coming to church. We come to church to be in the presence of God. We come to meet with God. We don’t come because of the preacher, or the music, or the people. We come to meet with God. If you will get the motivation right I guarantee you that you will enjoy coming to church. You see:
BI - "The reason some have little desire for God’s House on Sunday is because they have had little desire for God throughout the week."
Look at the passage this morning and let me share three things with you from the words of the psalmist. First, consider:
I. THE DESIRE OF THE PSALMIST -
"To be in God’s House"
Literally, the psalmist said that he would rather be in God’s House than anywhere else he could be. In contemporary terms, he would rather have been at church than at Disney World, or Carowinds. He would rather have been there than to be on the golf course. He would rather to have been at church than to have been at a baseball or football game, or a nascar race. He would rather to have been there than to be at the campground, or at home in bed, or in front of the TV set. He desired to be in God’s house because he:
A. DESIRED TO BE IN GOD’S PRESENCE - (1)
How amiable (lovely) are thy tabernacles, O LORD of hosts!
The psalmist did not yearn for the building (the church). He yearned for the Lord. God’s House represented the place where he could go to meet with God.
B. DESIRED WITH HIS WHOLE PERSON - (2)
My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the LORD: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.
The psalmist sought the presence of God with his body, soul and spirit. He put everything he had and all that he was into seeking and experiencing God.
Can I ask you a question - "Are you enjoying church? If not, what have you put into it? What have you done to make the worship experience meaningful? When Jeff attempts to lead us in meaningful worship, do you participate? When we stand to read the Word of God do you stand with your feet but not with your heart? When the offering plate is passed, do you worship God with your tithes and offerings, or do you just tip God?" When there is something to do, do you jump in and do it, or do you expect someone else to?
Why do you come to church? Do you come to meet with God as the psalmist did? If you will get your motivation right, you will enjoy coming to church just as the psalmist did. Folk, we are not here this morning to impress or be impressed. We are here to meet with God, and I know He is here because He promised to be in our midst.